After a several-year hiatus, John Kramer (Tobin Bell), a/k/a the Jigsaw Killer (from the “Saw” series), is back. Or is he?

“Jigsaw” opens with a brand new “game,” one that bears all of the hallmarks of a classic Jigsaw killing, being played. It’s up to Detectives Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) and Hunt (Clé Bennett) to figure out who is behind the most recent series of deaths – is it Kramer, who has been dead 10 years, or is it a copycat?

For gorehounds and horror fans, the most interesting part of the “Saw” movies has always been the clever traps: the reverse bear trap, the pit of used, dirty syringes, the pendulum. I’m sorry to say that the new traps concocted by the killer in “Jigsaw”are more than a little lackluster, lacking in imagination. Are the diabolical minds behind the series tapped out, or was this newest attempt to revive a once-successful franchise doomed from the beginning? It’s hard to say. The actors do a respectable enough job of it, but even after the big reveal (the other trademark of the series), I found myself underwhelmed by the “been there, done that” ending.

One more thing: as the Geico commercial posits, characters in horror movies aren’t known for making good decisions. But these particular characters are among the very worst. Scene after scene, they make choices that defy explanation. So… very… frustrating.

If you love these movies, this one’s worth a rental. Otherwise, skip it.


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